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steve roberts

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Everything posted by steve roberts

  1. steve roberts

    Swindon Stadium

    I was talking to a group from Swindon (non speedway fans) yesterday who gave me an update regarding the new stadium at Swindon. Apparently the old stadium is about to be demolished but it's not clear when work starts on the replacement one? I hope that this doesn't turn into another Reading based on false hopes. Anybody any news (I can't find any reliable information) as Blunsdon holds many memories for yours truly?
  2. steve roberts

    Swindon Stadium

    Have yo agree that the constantly changing team did no favours in my opinion...the team selection seemed to change every week and/or month.
  3. steve roberts

    Swindon Stadium

    I actually did some promotional work on behalf of Nigel Wagstaff at some local schools...however I had been promised a bike to display but nothing materialised. What was odd was that the outgoing promotion (Steve and Vanessa Purchase) apparently 'owned' the 'Cheetahs' nickmane and it wasn't part of the deal when Waggy took over hence the adoption of 'The Silver Machine'. All very complicated!
  4. steve roberts

    Best Race Suit Ever?

    Apparently Sam Ermolenko ran into him during a race back in the States (1984?) which basically finished Dennis as a World Class competitor.
  5. steve roberts

    Swindon Stadium

    The first year (2003) and a wee bit! Awful 'nickname!'
  6. steve roberts

    AGM November 2018

    Recall Melvyn Taylor suggesting after a particular dusty meeting at Smallmead (and I saw a few of those!) that he would have felt safer having fog lamps placed on the back of his bike to stop people from running into him!
  7. steve roberts

    AGM November 2018

    Not sure about brakes on bikes. When I attended one of Olle Nygren's Training Schools many years ago now he explained why brakes were not a feature...actually their absence was a safety feature because the last thing you wanted when entering the bend closely behind someone was that person to apply the brakes! It was all about throttle control back then which determined the speed and volatility of the bike.
  8. steve roberts

    AGM November 2018

    Similar case at Cowley when a well known rider after an engine blow out and whether he was able to replace it...and yet owned a jet ski to play with during his leisure time.
  9. steve roberts

    AGM November 2018

    Remember when Channel Four (Yes terrestrial TV) showed highlights of the 1989 Commonwealth Final from Belle Vue highlighted were the suppposed income from some of those taking part. Recall either Troy Butler or Martin Dugard commenting that if he was earning a fraction of what was quoted he would be doing well! From memory something like £250,000 was quoted as earnings a year.
  10. steve roberts

    RIP Bernie Leigh

    Recall an interview with Bernie when he said that he often rode at the difficult Number Four postion in which there were no easy rides. Developed a great understanding with Bobby Schwartz during the 'Racers' championship winning year in 1980. An alll round motorcyclist who competed on the grass and longtracks around Europe during his career. One incident I remember was at White City in 1977 when Reading 'stole' a victory at Wood Lane when Bernie caused, in my view, Gordon Kennett to fall but wasn't excluded! Turned out at Swindon in 1974 wearing a striking pair of blue and yellow leathers.
  11. steve roberts

    AGM November 2018

    If I recall six-man teams were also implemented during 1997 (?) when the home team were numbered 1-6 and the away team 7-12 to help simplyfy identification.
  12. steve roberts

    RIP Bernie Leigh

    Very sad news. Remember watching Bernie many times and was Reading thru' and thru'. After his one year loan spell at Swindon he did consider swithing over to 'the 'Robins' but returned home after Smallmead was completed afer a little pressure from Reg Fearman! Speeday couldn't survive without the Bernie Leighs...dependable team orientated loyal riders and something sadly lacking nowadays. May he RIP.
  13. steve roberts

    90 Stars of British League DVD

    Just received in the post a leaflet regarding a new release DVD entitled '90 Stars of British League - 1970 - 1990' from the excellent 'Retro Speedway Shop'. A definite purchase on the cards as the list of riders featured resembles a 'Who's Who' of British Speedway during speedway's last 'Golden Era'.
  14. steve roberts

    AGM November 2018

    ...and prior to that when Hackney 'moved up' Oxford were the only team to offer them a quality rider in the way of 'Wiggy' and the 'Cheethas' paid the price that season.
  15. steve roberts

    Best Race Suit Ever?

    Bob Kilby, Doug Wyer and Dave Jessup also!
  16. steve roberts

    AGM November 2018

    Remember being told that one of the Belle Vue 'Yanks' was on £500 a point back during the late 90's early 00's.
  17. steve roberts

    AGM November 2018

    Thank goodness that this wasn't the case back when I used to attend (1970's & 1980's) otherwise I couldn't have taken in White City (Wednesday), Oxford (Thursday) and Swindon (Saturday) and occasionally Eastbourne (Fridays and Sundays). Obviously fans used to travel around a lot more back in those days but of course that scenario has changed dramatically with the downturn the sport has been experiencing over the last 20 years or so for all manner of reasons. I talk to many people at my place of work (tourism) who say that they used to go to speedway...a common observation amongst people now.
  18. steve roberts

    AGM November 2018

    I went to a couple of American Football games at Wembley back in the eighties and I have to confess that all the activity off the field bored me and the whole thing went on for what seemed like hours...considering a game is in four quarters each of 15 minutes duration! Personally I don't want to be 'entertained' by fire eaters, jugglers you name it whilst there is a gap in play so that adverts can be accomodated on the TV. Meetings at Cowley during the days of second halves would commnence at 7-45 and end at ten on most occasions...however day time meetings were sometimes another matter but like the sadly missed 'Wiggy' I always prefered watching racing at night under lights.
  19. steve roberts

    AGM November 2018

    Yes it was noticeable that during my last ten years or so attending speedway that the people I knew around me on the third bend at Cowley began to diminish during that time to the extent that very few of us remained...and apparently the situation has only got worse around the tracks judging by the many comments on the forum. I'm just glad that I went during the seventies and eighties when crowds were still appreciable although Oxford did attract relatively good crowds right up until I ceased to go (early 2000's) due to relocation. Just glad that my Dad was not around to see the collapse of speedway, and at Cowley in particular, having first gone back in 1949.
  20. steve roberts

    Swindon Stadium

    Last time I called in at Cowley earlier this year it was looking very sorry for itself. Personally, despite all the good intentions, I can't see speedway returning there...which is very sad as I enjoyed 32 years following the 'Rebels' and 'Cheetahs' and it holds so many great memories!
  21. steve roberts

    AGM November 2018

    Agree...those that don't wish to stay on after the main event can please themselves. I used to enjoy second halves...certainly during Oxford's tie up with sister clubs Eastbourne and Peterborough. Also when 'The Cheetahs' competeted in the National League it was interesting watching untried new talent. Night out at the speedway was what I enjoyed and a chance to meet up with mates and have a good chat. As long as the whole thing was wrapped up by ten.
  22. steve roberts

    AGM November 2018

    Same here...gave a chance to talk tactics etc with one's mates on the terraces.
  23. steve roberts

    90 Stars of British League DVD

    Fabulous list of iconic names...can't wait to view this one!
  24. Dalle showed massive potential when he rode for 'The Cheetahs' in 1995 and had a style reminiscent of Per Jonsson. Made the mistake joining the Cradley/Stoke promotion (who owned his contract apparently) in my opinion in 1996 and was never the same rider. He turned out at Edinburgh some years later in the Premier League but the star that had shone bright when at Cowley had dimmed and he eventually disappeared from the British scene. If I recall he did suffer with a back injury that slowed his progress but I'm convinced that if he had remained at Cowley he would have potentially become a very big star.
  25. steve roberts

    Anyone remember Dalle Andersen?

    Yes I remember well how he used to be able to manouvre his bike at incredible angles to achieve the desired drive! Shame that his massive potential wasn't realised.
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